January 11, 2013 by Grant Clauser
A year ago Sony stepped into the high-performance speaker jungle with the audiophile AR line of speakers. This year at CES the company took a lot of what went into those luxury speakers and put it into a new assortment in their ES line—products meant for discerning home theater and audio enthusiasts.
The new ES series consists of the SS-NA2ES floor-standing tower speakers, SS-NA5ES book-shelf speakers, SS-NA8ES center channel and the SA-NA9ES subwoofer.
The SS-NA2ES is a 3-way, 6-driver, bass reflex floor-standing speaker system with a 25 mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19 mm soft-dome tweeters, a 130 mm paper cone midrange, and two double-drive 165 mm aluminum-cone woofers. The SS-NA5ES is a 2-way, 4-driver, bass reflex bookshelf speaker system with a 25 mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19 mm soft-dome tweeters, and a 130 mm aluminum-cone woofer. The SS-NA8ES is a 2-way, 5-driver, bass reflex center channel speaker system with a 25 mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19 mm soft-dome tweeters and two 130 aluminum-cone woofers. The SA-NA9ES is an active subwoofer system with two 250 mm aluminum-cone woofers.
The ES Speakers, like the earlier (and pricier) AR line, include a rigid cabinet crafted of Scandinavian birch to control harmonics. Both the tower and bookshelf models are two-way speakers, like the AR series, with partitioned woofers to isolate the mid-range and minimize the effects of woofer back-radiation.
The tweeters are Sony’s I-Array which couples one tweeter with two super tweeters to function as a single tweeter. This system is designed to avoid the peaks and dips that can unnaturally color audio reproduction and offer a natural balance across frequencies.
The floor-standing speakers will sell for $10,000/pr; the bookshelf speakers for $6,000/pr; the subwoofer for $4,000 and the center channel for $3,000.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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